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Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Learn about the Dependent Flexible Spending Account (FSA), which lets you pay for eligible dependent care expenses on a pre-tax, salary reduction basis.

New FSA administrator for 2021

Effective Jan. 1, 2021. Your 2021 FSA election and COBRA plans will be managed by Discovery Benefits. However, WageWorks will manage the grace period and run-out period for 2020 FSA participants until April 15, 2021.

Find more information and forms on UCNet.

The Dependent Flexible Spending Account (FSA), administered for UC by Discover Benefits, is a voluntary program established under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 129. FSAs let you pay for medical or dependent care expenses not covered by insurance with pre-tax funds.


You can participate in Dependent FSA if you:

  • Are an active employee appointed by the university to work at least 50% time for one year or more, or 100% time for 3 or more months
  • Worked 1,000 hours in a 12-month period
  • Work at least 43.75% time

Note: If you are married, both you and your spouse (unless your spouse is incapable of self-care or is a full-time student) must have earned income during the year. Eligible expenses would be considered.

Period to Enroll

  • When you are first hired into an eligible position
  • When you transfer to an eligible appointment
  • If you have a qualified family status change 
    • To update family status information, log in to UCPath and navigate to Employee Actions > Health & Welfare > Life Events/Benefit Changes
  • During annual open enrollment
  • If currently enrolled and want to be a plan participant the following year, you must re-enroll during Open Enrollment

For details, read the Summary Plan Description (PDF) or see the UCnet web page on Flexible Spending Accounts.

You can't change Dependent FSA contributions during the year unless you experience a qualifying event. These include:

  • Legal marital status
  • Number of eligible dependents
  • Dependent eligibility, including a child reaching age 13
  • Employment status that causes a gain of benefit eligibility
  • Cost or coverage (i.e., your dependent care expenses increase or decrease or you change child care providers or the amount of time needed for child care)


Discovery Benefits

You can file a claim easily with: 

The Benefits Mobile App

You can file claims and submit documentation in seconds using the Benefits Mobile App. Our app is the quickest and easiest method for filing claims and submitting documentation. Just use your phone’s camera to take a picture of documentation and upload it on the spot. The app also allows you to: 

  • Get instant notifications on the status of your claims. 
  • Check your balance and view account activity. 
  • Report a card as lost or stolen to keep your account secure. 
  • Determine 213(d) eligible expenses by using the eligible expense scanner and your phone’s camera. 

Online account 

You can also file claims through your online account by clicking the “File A Claim” button within the “I Want To” menu on the homepage of your online account. 

Note: You may also file a claim by submitting a Claim Form and supporting documentation via fax or mail.

Dependent FSA allows reimbursements up to the amount you have contributed to date.

WageWorks (to complete 2020)

To submit a manual claim for reimbursement for out-of-pocket payments:

  • Log into WageWorks and complete an online form
  • Print the online form, sign it, and send it to:
    WageWorks Spending Accounts
    P.O. Box 660427
    Dallas, TX 75266-0427
    Fax: 1-800-482-4174
For more information, visit Discover Benefits or WageWorks.

Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember:

Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.